SCUTTLEBUTT #345 - June 21, 1999
SUCCESS STORY -- a guest editorial by Betsy Altman
The Chicago NOOD with 205 boats and 1,400 sailors ran smoothly with no
glitches except for light and shifty weather on two days and a stalled
front producing rain, rain, rain on the third, with no wind, of course. I
was the PRO on Circle C which featured Tarten 10s and J 24s among others.
The Tartens had 37 boats in their section and started the sequence. We had
a general recall right in the first race. In subsequent starts, we employed
the technique which has been widely discussed Scuttlebutt, talking to the
sailors on the VHF.
It was very successful and managed to achieve good clean starts in the
races in which we used it. The final start was a true beauty. The sailors
were complimentary on its use saying that it was" useful to learn where the
line actually was", "removed bad air from an offending boat", "gave them
fair starts", "prevented the starting practice they were accustom to."
One conservative sailor was unhappy, feeling that learning how to start
without assistance is an important aspect of racing. Another was concerned
that the technique would prevent dip starts. When he learned that the only
identified offenders are those in danger of pulling a whole clump of boats
over the line, he was pleased with it.
Overall, it was truly a success. Combined with our liberal courtesy
broadcasts on all of our course changes and alert of impending stormy
weather as boats finished one race, the sailors were complimentary about
the communications and clarity of our approach. This group represents
sailors who participate because they enjoy the sport, not for professional
gain. I was excited that they embraced this open, inclusive style of race
ROLEX 12-METRE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - Report by Bob Fisher
With a dominant last race win, Torben Grael steering Kiwi Magic clinched
the 12-Metre World Championship. Grael, the nominated tactician for the
Italian Prada syndicate in the next America's Cup, won on a tie break,
beating Luca Santella in Italia because he had four race victories to
Santella's three. It was particularly sweet for Grael who had his Prada
boss, Patrizio Bertelli, behind him to trim the running backstays. Kiwi
Magic led the 12-boat fleet from the start and finished almost five minutes
clear of Italia with Francois Pailloux' French Kiss third, and this also
mirrored the final championship order.
Grael had taken time to understand what makes a 12-Metre tick, but his
talent could not be stiffled for long in what is undoubtedly the best
all-round 12-Metre ever designed and built. He showed his grasp at the
start of the sixth race when he attempted a port tack start and realised
that he couldn't quite cross the bows of Italia. He tacked close to
leeward and let the boat's characteristics do the rest.
'If any other boat had done that,' said Dave Ullman, who was tactician for
Santella on Italia, 'We would have rolled them, but Kiwi Magic hardly
missed a beat and was soon out ahead of us.' In the final race, Grael was
out and gone from the first minute. Ullman's shot calling was called into
play as Italia approached the leeward mark outside of French Kiss. He
called for a very late drop which had almost put Italia clear ahead and
pre-empted the Frenchman's nervous rounding to take Italia past to leeward
as they started the final beat.
Final Places: 1. Kiwi Magic ( N.Z; Daniele Gabrielli) 11.00 pts , 2. Italia
I (Ita; Luca Santella) 11.00 pts , 3. French Kiss (Fra; Francois Pailloux)
14.00 pts, 4. South Australia (Fra ; Yannick Pollet) 18.00 pts , 5. Victory
83 (Ita; Gianni Gini) 31.00 pts, 6. Challenge 12 (Fra; Christian Hubbard)
38.00 pts, 7. Sovereign (Fra; Jacques Fauroux) 47.00 pts, 8. Tomahawk (Ita;
Lorenzo Bortolotti) 47.00 pts, 9. Enterprise (Fra; Christian Trehard )
48.00 pts, 10. Ikra (Fra; Olivier De Rosny) 55.00 pts, 11. Trivia of
Gosport (Virgin I.; Christian Barberis) 56.00 pts, 12. Italia II (Ita
;FrancescoMenconi) 72.00 pts.
Event site: http://www.eurovirtuel.com/rolexcup/index.shtml
VOLVO OCEAN RACE
People in Kiel (Germany) were overjoyed when officials announced today that
Kiel is to become the final destination of the Volvo Ocean Race Round the
World in June 2002. This regatta will be the most important in Germany and
it is widely acknowledged as the world's premier ocean race. The agreement
was signed by Helge Alten, Chief Executive of the Volvo Ocean Race and Lord
Mayor Norbert Gansel at Kiel Townhall.
Lord Mayor Norbert Gansel said, "This is a great day for Kiel. Kiel is a
world-class centre for sailing and regatta sport. We in Kiel will make sure
that the Volvo Ocean Race Round the World will come to its ultimate climax
in June 2002 and the concluding celebration which will last several days,
will be an event of international importance.
Helge Alten, Chief Executive of the Volvo Ocean Race replied, saying,
"Germany is one of the major markets in Europe, for race sponsors,
syndicates and for Volvo." The venue in Kiel from June 7th to 12th, 2002
will be the area around the Kieler Yacht-Club, a club rich in tradition,
situated near the former Olympic port, the Blucherbrucke, the Kiellinie and
the Krusenkoppel. -- Dirk De Muynck
Event website: http://www.VolvoOceanRace.org
NEW YORK YC's ANNUAL REGATTA
What a difference a day made at the New York Yacht Club's Annual Regatta,
presented by Rolex Watch USA. Winds on Friday, June 18, were patchy,
scrambling races and racers. Saturday, however, the southwesterly sea
breeze filled in, after a reluctant start, providing a great day at the races.
This was the 145th edition of the race in the New York Yacht Club's
155-year history. The 1999 edition, for example, saw the use of ORC Club
Certificates, a first at the NYYC and, perhaps, in the U.S. This is a
user-friendly companion to the IMS that integrates seamlessly with it. ORC
Club shares the IMS's VPP and is fully compatible with its scoring. Being
less complicated and, thus, less expensive for sailors, ORC Club is for
more casual racers. . -- Michael Levitt
Full results: http://www.nyyc.org/Images/html/Annual_Regatta_1999_Report.html
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LONG BEACH RACE WEEK
102 boats raced in 11 classes. Winds ranged from 8 - 18 knots. The Leukemia
Cup 'Boat of the Week' award for the winner of the most competitive class
went to Wings, Dennis and Sharon Case's Schock 35 from the San Diego YC.
Final results: SCHOCK 35 (17 boats, 5 races)-1. Wings, Dennis and Sharon
Case, San Diego YC, 15 points; 2. Mischief, Mike Pinckney/Carolyn Hardy,
Bahia Corinthian YC, 18; 3. Piranha, David Voss, Club de La Paz, 20.
CATALINA 37 (11, 5)-1. Team Escapade, Mark Noble, Long Beach YC/Santa
Barbara YC, 22; 2. Team Sheezaliedee, Silver/Hambrick/Infelise, Huntington
Harbour YC, 23; 3. Team, W.T. Durant, LBYC, 24. OLSON 30 (7 boats, 6
races)-1. Perfect Balance, Rick Flucke, Channel Islands YC, 7; 2. Intense,
Allan Rosenberg, Alamitos Bay YC, 11; 3. Eris, Jim Kerrigan, Bahia
Corinthian YC, 19. CAL 25 (7, 6)-1. Eagle, Stone/Hammett, South Shore YC,
11; 2. Nemesis, Brown/Trent, HHYC, 17; 3. One Time, Art Melendres, LBYC,
18. CAL 20 (8, 6)-1. Lickety Split, Ron Wood/Van Wilson, Alamitos Bay YC,
9; 2. Breakfast Club, John Merchant, ABYC, 20; 3. T-Rex, Steve Washburn,
Dana Point YC, 20. CLASS 50+/- (7 boats, 6 races)-1. Wasabi, Dale
Williams, St. Francis YC, 8.38; 2. Cantata, Ron Kuntz, OYC, 17; 3.
Bullseye, Bob Garvie, StFYC, 18.38. FARR 40 (5, 6)-1. Peregrine, David
Thomson, StFYC, 11; 2. Flyer, Douglas Mongeon, Dana Point YC, 16; 3. Blue
Chip, Walt Logan, San Francisco YC, 18. PHRF-A (9, 6)-1. Raven, Mark
Thomas, Sierra Point YC, 14; 2. J-Bird, Dave Janes, Balboa YC, 20; 3.
Excel's Growler, Neil Barth, Newport Harbor YC, 22. PHRF-B (7, 6)-1. Fast
Lane, Kathy and Bob Patterson, California YC, 10; 2. Incisor,
Dwire/Plander, Ventura YC, 20; 3. Defiance, Scott Taylor, Cabrillo Beach
YC, 20.5. PHRF-C (8, 6)-1. Redline, Bob Marcus, ABYC, 15; 2. Joann, Steve
Murphy, Seal Beach YC, 23; 3. Abracadabra II, Dennis Surtees, SFYC, 24.
PHRF-D (18, 6)-1. Nocona, Gordon Miller, Oceanside YC, 21; 2. Old Yeller,
Lee Lewis, Del Rey YC, 34.5; 3. Mach S, John Retter, San Diego YC, 37.
Complete results: http://www.lbyc.org
MUMM 36 WORLDS
Ten boats -- after four races: 1 Moby Lines, E Cheffi 1 3 2 2 (8 points) 2.
Barlo Plastics, A Stead 3 2 4 3 (12 pts) 3. Thomas I Punkt, K Jablinski 6 1
6 1 (14 pts) 4 Breeze, T Hutchinson 2 4 3 7 (16 pts) 5. New Yorker C Larson
5 6 1 6 (18 pts) 6. Pro Sail 3, A Willim 4 8 7 4 (23 pts) 7. Resco, W
Sunesson 9 7 5 8 (29 pts) 8. Mean Machine, B Beeking 7 5 8 DSQ (31 pts) 9.
Elbe III, J Diesch 8 10 9 9 (36 pts) 10. The Next, H Bloemers 10 9 10 (39
Event website: http://www.kyc.de/
LETTERS TO THE CURMUDGEON
Letters selected to be printed are routinely edited for clarity, space (250
words max) or to exclude personal attacks.
-- From Randy Smith, regular crew on Peter Tong's Farr 40 Orient Express --
I have read all the bantering for the last 2 weeks over Craig's comments.
First, I am quite sure that Craig never intended to cause such a stir, and
bring so many bad words out on the Farr 40 Class. Second, most of the
bantering is being done by people who haven't sailed in the class.
Interesting! In June of 1998, Peter Tong and his crew were preparing for
our first regatta back east with the new OE. Peter requested that Pete
Frazier, Craig Chamberlain, and myself apply as Category 1 Alternate
Helmsman. We were all approved. We also began to see some good amatuers
turned down - Bob Little, Steve Flam, Rich Matzinger etc. Why?
Most people who know Pete Frazier, Craig Chamberlain and myself know that
we all work 50-60 hours a week or more in our respective professions
(Chemical Coatings, Insurance and Real Estate). It is perceived by the
sailing public (and Farr 40 owners) that our life is 90% work & personal
and 10% sailing. I believe the perception of Flam, Matzinger, Fletcher
and Little is that they spend much more time sailing in high caliber
events as skippers, maybe 60%-40%.
To those who have not raced much in Farr 40's the rules may seem wrong or
too subjective. The class has demonstrated continued growth, incredible
racing, and room for both pros and amateurs alike. Although not liked by
everyone, the rules are working, and the owners are having fun.
-- From Bruce Gresham -- I have to admit that these past few weeks I have
been scrolling right down to the letters section to look for the latest
episode of "Fletcher point/counterpoint." This is commentary at its best.
However, I am sure most of your East Coast readers have no idea who this
Curmudgeon's comment -- And how about the Hawaiian, Canadian, European,
Kiwi and Australian readers? Although Fletch is one of the West Coast's
more skilled and colorful racers (frequently, with hair to match), I would
have cut off this thread long ago if it wasn't for the fact that some valid
(and hopefully useful) points were being made about owner / driver rules.
Last week I spoke with Peter Tong from the Farr Owner's Association and I
know that they are paying attention and discussing potential changes.
-- From Jennie Fitzhardinge -- I agree wholeheartedly with Jeff Martin
about preserving world championships. When I was a press officer of the
Whitbread (89-90 & 93-94) I was struck by the diverse paths the sailors had
taken to earn their berths on the W60s. Knut Frostad was a champion
windsurfer, there were Star sailors, skiff sailors and kids that had grown
up sailing on their family cruisers and had taken their backpacks to Europe
where work in the marine industry finally led to a round-the-world race.
The beauty of sailing is that there are so many different platforms on
which to practice the art of harnessing wind & water. And for those that
are seeking it, different platforms on which to gain recognition.
Secondly as a sailor of a non-Olympic class yacht, one day I plan to
compete in a world championship - and I will have to borrow a boat to do
it. I wouldn't be competing because I think I could win - I'd be there
because I think I could learn so much. It would mean either saving or
organising sponsorship for flights, charter fees etc etc but it would be
worth it to be part of a world championship. Would I make that effort to go
to a Gold Cup? Naaah!
What the ISAF people seem to be forgetting is that the many sailing
participants are already spectators of the big events. What is the point of
alienating us by concentrating on the Olympic or glamour classes to the
detriment of the majority of sailors?
-- From Hugh Elliot -- I never cease to be amazed at the comments that are
made comparing golf and sailing. The fact is that golfers play the course -
not each other - and the outcome is determined by the one who plays the
course best. Golf would be an interesting sport of the rules took into
account a golfers ability to hit a good tee shot while his opponents are
laughing, singing and dancing or trying to make a putt with an opponent
standing directly on the line. But golf etiquette requires silence and
stillness while another player is making a shot.
Tennis may have a more appropriate system. There used to be - maybe still
is - the Volvo Rating System where a professional would evaluate a player's
basic skills and award a numerical rating. Then competition would be
between persons of equal or similar rankings.
How would we make a sailing handicap system work? Elapsed time, let the
"high handicappers" start early or what?
In Paralympic (Disabled) Sailing - to level the game - we all carry a
rating between 1 (most disabled) and 7 (least disabled). The three person
team on a Sonar is allowed a maximum of 12 points and there is no racing
advantage for having a lower than maximum number. Of course, like any
development rule, this tends to encourage a "typical" team. Generally, it
works reasonably well and makes sure that we never run out of things to
complain about in the bar after racing!
-- From Ken Signorello (In reply to Vern Brickey -- RE: Personal Handicap
system for sailing) -- There is such a system. It is called SALT - Sailing
Achievement Level Table. You can learn about it at:
-- From Don Becker -- Regarding Kevin Ellis' comments about PHRF and
accountability, when I was judging a regatta at Texas Corinthian Y.C.
several years ago, one of the other judges was on the local PHRF Board.
When you serve on the Galveston Bay PHRF Board your boat's rating is
accessed -6 sec./mile as long as you are on the board. I think this is a
Curmudgeon's comment -- Oh my! What an interesting idea
-- From Jerry Fipps, Commodore, Southern California Ocean Racing
Association -- Kevin Ellis should race AMERICAP -- a more challenging
non-political handicap system. AMERICAP uses the US Sailing Velocity
prediction (VPP), a sophisticated computer program to calculate the
potential sailing performance of a yacht under various conditions and
course configurations which is kept secret to reduce potential
exploitations of the rule, and has proven to reduce the corrected time
difference span from first to last position in all races compared to PHRF.
Links to a comparison of handicap systems: http://www.scora.org
BLOCK ISLAND RACE WEEK
Closely-matched boat-for-boat competition will be the theme at Block Island
off the coast of Rhode Island next week as the Storm Trysail Club's
biennial week-long regatta gets under way. The starting guns for Race Week
XVIII fire at 11:00 am Monday, just a few hours before the summer solstice
at 3:49 PM, marking the official beginning of summer.
The current popularity of one-design ocean racing will be evident at race
week with one-design starts for eight of the 20 classes competing. Adding
to the intensity of the competition, closely-matched boats and tight rating
bands will distinguish a number of the handicap classes. As always,
Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF) boats will make up the bulk of the
fleet, with 127 boats entered.
The addition of a third racing circle this year emphasizes the club's
commitment to high quality competition. "The extra race course will be a
major improvement for all entrants at Block Island week," said Commodore
John Storck, Jr. "It permits us to divide the fleet into smaller, more
evenly-matched classes and it means that we can diminish the waiting time
for boats between races."
With the new circle, the Club will now have six Principal Race Officers
(PROs) handling racing, with two on each course. Headed by Senior PRO
Charlie "Butch" Ulmer, the team has unparalleled experience on-the-water
race management experience.
While the majority of the boats hail from East Coast ports, entries from as
far away as Hawaii, San Francisco, and Puerto Rico are part of the 222-boat
fleet, a recent record for race week competition on the Block. The record
was set in the early '80s with a 263-boat fleet.
The biggest one-design fleet racing is the J/105 class with 23 boats
crowding the starting line. Masquerade, a San Francisco boat, skippered by
Tom Coates, with an all San Francisco crew is the one to watch. Coates and
his team won the Newport Gold regatta, campaigning their second-hand boat
that they picked up for East Coast racing. They race a new J/105 out west.
-- Keith Taylor
Daily reports, results and photos will be posted every racing day at:
US Sailing has their new website on-line. Not only does it look good --
it's full of very current news. Check it out: http://www.ussailing.org/
ROLEX WOMEN'S CLINIC
Current and five-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Betsy Alison (Newport,
R.I.), one of the world's most accomplished racing sailors and coaches,
will conduct a one-day Rolex Women's Clinic on Friday, July 16th, in
Newport, R.I. The clinic, to be held in participant-supplied J/24s on
Narragansett Bay, will be hosted by Sail Newport and coincide with its 15th
Anniversary Newport Regatta on July 17-18. Traditionally hosting over 60
boats in its hotly contested J/24 division, the regatta is one of the
region's largest one-design events, with over 200 boats and 1200 sailors
participating. This year, the event is expected to attract several
all-women J/24 teams who are preparing for US SAILING's eighth biennial
Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship -- also to be sailed in
J/24s from the Sail Newport sailing facility - on September 19-25. Over 200
women participated in similar Rolex Women's Clinics given by Alison in
1997. She is a US SAILING Certified Instructor and has won the Rolex
International Women's Keelboat Championship five times.
The clinic fee is $50 per boat. If seven or more teams attend the clinic
and go on to compete in the Newport Regatta, the top-finishing team from
among them will get its entry fee waived for the Rolex Women's event. --
Barby MacGowan, Media Pro International
For more information about the Rolex Women's Clinic hosted by Sail Newport,
contact Betsy Alison at 401-848-5146 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For a Newport
Regatta entry form, contact Kimberly Cooper at 401-846-1983 or
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(Reprinted with permission from DEFENCE 2000, which is available for US $48
per year from John@roake.gen.nz)
Many eyebrows have been raised in New Zealand over Rob Sutherland's
resignation and immediate exit from his role as the chief executive of
America's Cup Village Ltd. No explanation whatsoever has been forthcoming,
but our grape vine tells us that apart from story # 1 above, there has
been considerable tension between Sutherland and Sir Peter Blake's Team New
Zealand. It all revolves around sponsorship money, both organisations
competing for the same dollar.
The cancellation of what was to be a high profile entertainment program
obviously has not helped the scene. There is virtually no public viewing
areas of any size available in the Viaduct harbour except that now held by
American Express, a site that was sold to them for big money. Sutherland
was very active in foreshore development, and obviously Team New Zealand
and Sir Peter Blake feel this has been to the detriment of the staging of
the event. There are some who are sorry to see Sutherland's departure, but
he leaves a scene of strained relationships between sponsors and the
Village company. Five executive staff including their communications
manager, Nina Williams, have departed the company, so the newcomer, Ian
Collinson, a former Solid Energy head who has already taken over
Sutherland's role, has a major work-load in front of him.
Meanwhile, Defence 2000 learns three of the six main sponsors of the
Village have yet to sign their contracts (a nail biting time for the
company's directors). Merrill Lynch is seeking to re-negotiate its
contract, believing that the cancellation of the entertainment program
materially affects their original sponsorship deal. Amex is another major
sponsor that has yet to put pen to paper.
THE CURMUDGEON'S OBSERVATIONS
If you think you're really important, try giving orders to someone else's cat.